On May 29 2012, Jan Karski received post mortal Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded by the President Barack Obama.
Newsweek labeled Jan Karski one of the most prominent personalities of the 20th century, and his mission was described as one of the ethical milestones of our civilization. The story of Karski’s mission encapsulated some of the most challenging ethical and historical dilemmas of the Twentieth Century. Jan Karski epitomized the essence of the tragic fate of European Jews but his story was also a lesson about the best and the worst qualities of human nature. The audience will have the opportunity to become acquainted with his story, which defeats all stereotypes and restores faith in humanity at a time of humanity’s utter corruption.
Karski & The Lords of Humanity is a feature-length partially animated documentary project. The film tells the story of a member of the Polish underground who acted as a courier during World War II and whose most prominent mission was to inform the Allied powers of Nazi crimes against the Jews of Europe in an effort to prevent the Holocaust. Jan Karski infiltrated the Warsaw Ghetto and a Transit Camp and carried his dreadful eye-witness report of the atrocities to Britain and the United States, hoping that it would shake the conscience of the powerful leaders or – as Karski would call them – the Lords of Humanity.
Our project offers an earnest portrait of an extraordinary individual and a unique perspective on the history of World War II and the Holocaust. It is a story of a man juggled between life and death while fulfilling a desperate mission to stop the annihilation of European Jews. The movie will portray the biggest tragedy of the 20th century as reflected in the life of a single individual.
The tale of Jan Karski’s wartime activities is much more than the story of one man’s adventures. It is a parable of human folly, urgently relevant to the world we inhabit today. His mission was not a failure. The risks Karski took to witness the Final Solution firsthand and the mind-shattering reports he delivered about it forced Allied leaders to confront the horror for the first time. When Karski broke the taboos of his exiled government and began to speak out about the fate of the Jews, he played a major role in shaping public opinion in the free world.
The innovative fusion of technologies employed by our team will create a unique film reality, and will bring Karski’s compelling story to life. The film will employ fiction-like scenes presented by means of animation techniques intertwined with documentary scenes and archival footage, including authentic voice-over by Jan Karski himself. Thanks to the animation techniques, we will be able to recreate the events, which took place during Karski’s World War II mission. We will be able to recreate his treacherous visit to the Warsaw Ghetto, where he witnessed the indignities and traumas to which Jews were being subjected in Nazi-occupied Poland only months preceding the Final Solution. Hours of interviews recorded with Jan Karski after the war will provide the most authentic first person narrative, and will accompany the animated reenactment of events against the background of authentic archival footage.
This film is the newest in the collection Slawomir Grünberg’s films, which explore major themes in the humanities. Many of the previous films were broadcast on PBS, HBO and many international television networks. Among them are: “School Prayer” (Emmy Award Winning), “Shimon’s Returns”, “Castaways”, “Coming out in Poland”, “Portraits of Emotion”, “The Peretzniks”, “Fenceline”, “The Legacy of Jedwabne”, “Saved by Deportation” and the Oscar Nominated “Sister Rose’s Passion” (Directed by Oren Jacoby).
For more information on our Production Team go to:
Please take a look at an interview with Slawomir Grünberg on Currents TV from 2009. It was quite a few grey hairs ago:)